Thursday, September 27, 2018

Kelly Well Read Reviews - Happy Fall, Y'all!

I've been enjoying the nice cool front in North Texas the last couple days. I can feel the Fall weather getting closer! On my grocery stop this morning before work, I saw all the Fall flowers and decor, and couldn't resist an Instagram opportunity! Of course, it will be back up in the high 80s in a week, so carpe diem and all that!

What I Just Finished Reading:

I actually finished two books over the last week. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

The Kiss Quotient is an erotic romance, but that is not the whole story. It's written by a debut author who was diagnosed, as an adult, with Asperger's Syndrome. She is married, with two children, and used her personal experiences to create the main character, Stella. I emphasize the erotic part because you need to be prepared for some steamy scenes and the erotic language that goes along with this type of book. But it's also a good story, with the well-developed main characters going through some major challenges along the way to their HEA. Enjoy this one if you like spicy romance novels: just don't say I didn't warn you!

One of my favorite this year is Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens - another debut (I love debuts)! Set in the 1950s and 1960s in and around the marsh-lands of North Carolina, this novel has it all: evocative descriptions of the natural world, a haunting coming-of-age tale, a meditation on survival and the need for human connections, as well as a mystery with a suspenseful court room scene and an unexpected twist at the end.  The criticisms I've seen for this book have to do with two things, and I experienced them as well.

 First of all, the author uses a Southern dialect in her dialogue that is a little disconcerting at first "Where ya goin'" and " I don' 'member," for example, rather than the proper terminology. Even being from the South, myself, this was a little off-putting at first. But the story is so absorbing that I quickly just let that go and went with the flow. Secondly, the pace of the book is slower than I usually read. A lot happens, but there are long passages of descriptions of nature, and even some poetry, that interrupt the action of the story. Again, I was willing to read on, as I really wanted to know what happened to all the characters. It did take me longer to read this book than normal (several weeks); but it was so worth it to get to the end. I just hugged it to my heart and said, out loud, "This...this is what it feels like to have a true literary experience."  I don't know if everyone I recommend it to will have the same feeling, but I'm satisfied with my opinion of it: it's excellent! 

What I'm Reading Now:

A lot, actually! Many people can't relate to reading more than one book at a time, much less 4 or 5, but librarians do this frequently. In order to be able to confidently recommend books to customers daily, I have to expose myself to a lot of different books on a regular basis. Sometimes I don't finish them all (blasphemy, I know)! But, I will read enough to know that the a book is well-written; to be able to speak about elements such as pace, tone, and themes; and to become familiar with any issues that might affect me recommending it to certain patrons, such as graphic violence, language or sex scenes. I don't censor other people's reading, but I do get asked often about those things, and want to be able to speak to that when I recommend a book.

Right now I'm devouring Robert Galbraith's 4th title in the Cormoran Strike series, Lethal White. A couple things about this book: Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym for J. K. Rowling and she ran a contest to decide the title of this book!  This series has also been televised, first in the UK and then in the States on Cinemax, under the name "C.B. Strike." It's really good, too!  The first book, Cuckoo's Calling is my favorite; the ones that have come after have been progressively darker and more violent (kind of like the Harry Potter series, actually)! But I've become attached to the characters, and will just skim over parts that are too much for my sensibilities!  This book is currently #1 on the combined print and eBook NYT best-seller chart. Lethal White is more introspective than the other books, revealing more about the main characters and their lives, and is much longer than I expected: 656 pages.  It will take me a while!

I also just got my library hold for Anne Bogel's I'd Rather Be Reading, her first book. Ms. Bogel is the creator of the blog, "Modern Mrs. Darcy" (, which I love, and this book talks about her experiences with reading and recommending books. Perfect for bibliophiles and librarians! It's a slim book, only 160 pages, so I should get through this quickly.

And because I'm a grammar nerd, and really loved Kory Stamper's Word by Word, about her experiences as a lexicographer for Merriam Webster,  I grabbed an older book called, Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, an extremely funny and sardonic take on the declining use of correct punctuation in the English language (nerd, I know)!

The Other Woman: A Novel (Gabriel Allon)

I'm also still working my way through the audiobook of Daniel Silva's latest Gabriel Allon novel, The Other Woman, on my commute (George Guidall, narrator!), and will be listening to The Big Inch, a historical fiction title by Kimberly Fish, narrated by Sydney Young, for the Lone Star Literary Book Blog Tour coming in November.

What I'll Read Next?

I never know, exactly, as it depends on my mood and other reading commitments; but I'm excited about a few that are coming early next year:


And so many more to choose from!!  Until then...

Happy Reading!!

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